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TikTok champions online safety with the Western Cape Education Department

TikTok champions online safety. Pic: Cottonbro/Pexels

TikTok champions online safety. Pic: Cottonbro/Pexels

Published Jul 5, 2022

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Today’s youth are more social media savvy than ever. With the rapid use of the internet and social media, the number of potential harms that young people face increases daily. The collaboration between TikTok and the Western Cape Education Department is crucial in empowering and educating teachers and guardians on the safe use of TikTok.

TikTok is a short-form video hosting service. It hosts a variety of short-form user videos, from genres such as pranks, stunts, tricks, jokes, dance, and entertainment, with durations from 15 seconds to ten minutes. #LearnOnTikTok is a fun and educational hashtag which helps the community share educational content across various subjects and has amassed well more than 320 billion views in the app.

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Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, TikTok’s Head of Public Policy in Africa, explains: “TikTok is a unique place where culture starts, and creativity knows no bounds, where users turn to be entertained, find and share their joy with others, and learn new things.”

Ismail Teladia, Senior Curriculum Planner for Life Orientation from the WCED, adds: “TikTok has become a popular platform amongst our learners and teachers. This behaviour has warranted special attention from the department as we want to ensure it’s safe. Through this collaboration, we hope to encourage positive behaviour and expose our teachers to the educational value of TikTok, ultimately allowing them to incorporate TikTok as an educational resource.”

Mgwili-Sibanda shares a few helpful tips for teachers and parents to ensure a safe and positive TikTok experience.

1. Customise your privacy

2. Balance online and off-line engagement

3. Enable family pairing for extra support and safety

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4. Stay proactive, create cool content

5. Mental health. The company does not don’t allow content that promotes, glorifies, or normalises suicide, self-harm, or eating disorders

To help the community do this safely, the company has rolled out well-being guides to support people who choose to share their personal experiences.

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